What Do Incels & Tarana Burke Have In Common?

“So whose job is it to help these men?

Answer: It’s their own job. They are grown men, responsible for their actions and needs. It is no woman’s job to give him love or attention or touch.

The process of becoming an adult is the process of taking on responsibility for meeting your own needs. Adults are responsible for sorting out their own shit, figuring out how to have relationships, finding ways to get their needs met without hurting anybody, even in the face of deeply toxic culture. Women have been doing that for themselves since forever; men are no less personally responsible.

What I’m saying is: Incels need to be brave and learn how to be people and have feelings with other people who also have feelings. Including women-people. It is extremely difficult and scary — far more difficult than believing that women are not “people” but need-free vending machines of love and kindness and touch. It takes enormous fortitude to sob with grief and despair and longing and rage at the culture whose rules you followed for so long, trying to be good so that you could get your needs met, and it never worked; it takes courage to experience those dark and difficult feelings and yet not do harm to anyone. But if there is any simple answer, this is it. The answer is for lonely, hurt men to be brave and stand on their own two feet, so that they can learn to dance with others.”
-Emily Nagoski, Medium.com, May 5, 2018

The above series of quotes comes from a May 5, 2018 article appearing on the Medium website by social media celeb and sexologist Emily Nagoski, titled, “I’m sorry you’re lonely but it’s not my job to help you: the science of incels”. Despite Nagoski having very little in the way of actual interaction with so-called “incels” – certainly nothing approaching the level of critically acclaimed investigative citizen journalist and podcaster Naama Kates – Nagoski nevertheless feels self-righteous enough to tell these lovelorn lads and supposed Eliot Rodgers-in-waiting about themselves.

And you want to know something? I’m willing to set aside my own biases about Nagoski and her ilk and, in the interest of the better good, stand shoulder to shoulder with her.

On the simple merits of the argument, she is 100% RIGHT.

To the extent the phenomenon of “incels” actually exists, at the end of the day, guys who are having a tough time interacting with women in varying ways, have to take personal and complete responsibility for their life and decide if they want to make the changes needed to succeed. It is not the job or responsibility of any woman anywhere, to do anything whatsoever for these men, no matter how bad their situation may indeed be.

It’s almost reflexive to say, “Right On!” in reaction to Nagoski’s declaration, isn’t it? After all, these ARE “grown men” who need to, dare I say it – MAN UP, right? And, as Nagoski points out above, women have been “manning up” like, forever now – right?

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at GoGetFunding.com. Now, back to the article!

Except that’s NOT what’s going on here; clearly, this “man up” line is gendered. A clear case in point that illustrates my case is in the form of the current #MeToo craze, founded by lifelong do-gooder one Ms. Tarana Burke. Her stated focus of “centering” the trauma of “survivors” of sex abuse, assault and the like on the part of Black women and girls, is something that, on its face, sounds self-righteous enough. I mean, who isn’t about seeing to it that heinous crimes and offenses such as rape and the like, are done away with? But, as the “conversation” surrounding these issues since actress and do-gooder in her own right, one Ms. Alyssa Milano, made #MeToo a household name three years ago, it has become clear that as per usual, the “conversation” was little more than a monologue – one that Black men know all too well, at that.

The argument goes, that the only (Black) men who might have a problem with #MeToo as Burke has conceived it (And I put it that way because whether she may like it or not, the public perceives there being two distinct #MeToo movements – a White one and a Black one), are those who are themselves “sexual predators” – or at the very least, those who would silently condone such offenders. No, it can’t be possible that (Black) men who have never offended themselves, might have legitimate concerns about a hastily-conceived and poorly executed “movement” such as #MeToo might actually bring about, especially over the long term and in a country as big as the United States. Perish the thought!

But, there’s the rub: if one accepts the basic premise that there ARE in fact (Black) men who don’t offend, then it raises the inevitable question as to what is to become of them as they have to contend with the “survivors” of sex abuse/assault/etc.? While it isn’t codified in explicit terms, the answer is clear enough: they are to “support” Black female victims, don’t you know.

After all, this notion that the “truly good guy” be a kind of asexual support system on demand for Black women done wrong by other Black men, is nothing new; indeed, we’ve seen this idea as recently as late last year and revisited again only weeks ago, in the form of one Ms. April Mason. As you will kindly recall, the self-styled dating coach for Black women not only has self-indignantly called out “good Black men” to come to the aid of her cousin, she then doubled down on the matter when it was proven that the whole thing was a fraud, citing her being victimized at the hands of Black men (“If I Don’t Know You, I Don’t Owe You”, Dec 2, 2019, Negromanosphere.com). Because Black women are allowed and often encouraged to see Black men as a undifferentiated, collective block instead of a non-monolithic mass of individuals, the idea goes that it is the job of good Black men to police the actions of offenders in their racial and gender ranks, as well as to act as a kind of “sineater” for them as well, atoning for the crimes they never committed in the first place. While White America certainly has this notion of puffery in their society, they are quick to put the kibosh on it – last year’s Gillette debacle is a very expensive case in point (“Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad haunts P&G as shaving giant takes $8B writedown”, Jul 31, 2019, Washington Examiner).

Black women see themselves as “forever the victim” (For more on this point, please see my Dec 9, 2019 column, “The Victim Queen”) at the hands of the Black Male Collective and a “real” Black man will take responsibility and accountability for ALL Black men everywhere. Again, it’s not exactly codified, but when one simply takes the time to listen to do-gooders like Burke, Feminista Jones (recall her disastrous #YouOKSis campaign) and other avowed Black feminists types, the argument is made well enough.

And not only have Black men listened, they’ve had enough.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at GoGetFunding.com. Now, back to the article!

If what Nagoski says above with regard to the sole responsibility for incel men to fix their problems in life is true – and there seems to be a consensus that it is – then it is time that women in general and Black women in particular, to follow suit. It is not the job of non-offending Black men to hold their hands through their ordeals with sex assault and abuse, no matter how truly vile and dehumanizing it may have been. Non-offending Black men are looking for mates who enjoy life and like to have fun, not de facto psycho-therapeutic patients that they play Sigmund Freud on. And it is downright abusive in its own right to even entertain the idea, as many Black women do, that the brothers who had absolutely nothing to do with their pain and trauma, somehow owe it to them to set the world right and be a sounding board and emotional tampon for their problems. Sorry ladies, but the world doesn’t work that way.

Nagoski may or may not be familiar with the racial dynamics at play here, but yours truly knows them intimately, and my response that I offer to the students in my dojo are quite clear. In fact, since this comes at a time when I am putting the finishing touches on my first literary effort, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, please allow to share with you a bit from one of its chapters, titled, “The Ten Obsidian Commandments”, point number four:

“4. Nor Do You Owe Any Black Woman Anything: Now, we get to the good part! I say that because, as I noted above, we’ve all heard some iteration of the first two points – but what NOBODY will say, is that you, my brother, don’t owe ANY Black woman ANYTHING, either. And that doesn’t just include the random Black women in your social environment – that includes ALL Black women – INCLUDING your family members. I put it that way because let’s face it, Black familial relationships are highly dysfunctional and this is especially true when it comes to that obtaining between Black men and women. Many Black female relations honestly believe that Black men OWE them special dispensation because they are “the mothers of civilization” – such delusions of granduer are commonplace in Black American life. And this extends out into the social and romantic realm. For example, we’ve all been badgered about “colorism” – a kind of “racism lite” on the part of Black men toward darker skinned Black women, so the argument goes. There are, of course, lots of glaring holes in this argument; but even taking it as is on its face, the same principle laid out in the previous “commandment” holds here – there IS no EEOC of Dating! There are other “arguments” on the part of the Noisy Sistahood: “fat acceptance” (Lizzo is the easiest example that comes to mind at present), attempts to force the notion of “Strong Black Women” down our throats, “A real Black man accepts a Black woman and her kids” – you get the idea. In fact, if there’s anyone today who honestly thinks that dating and relationships are an Affirmative Action matter, it’s Black women – NOT Black men. We all know this is true, and the reason why you haven’t seen, heard or read ANYONE discussing what you’re reading right now, IS BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THAT BLACK WOMEN AS A GROUP ARE THE LOSERS OF THE FREE MARKETPLACE OF LOVE. And because millions of those Black women are our family, we’re kind of embarrassed about that sad but true fact.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that you do not owe Black women anything. You don’t owe them the time of day; assistance or help of any kind; expertise; caring; courtesy; kindness; sympathy or empathy; understanding; patience; and so on. You are NOT required to acknowledge any Black woman’s very existence. You are NOT required to reciprocate a Black woman’s unwanted or unsolicited attention, simply because you’re “Non-Select” and she’s supposedly “in your lane”. There are many in Black American society who believe that “good” (read: unattractive), Plain Jane Sistas “deserve love, too”. Newsflash: they don’t. They have to get out here and compete for mates, the same as everyone else, whether they like it or not – and if they fail, that is their fault, not the fault of the government or some existential crisis that must be resolved by the President and/or the United Nations Security Council. You have every right to utterly reject any or even every Black woman for any reason you choose, without prior notice, warning or explanation. You are not an employee of the federal government’s Fairness Doctrine of Black Love.

You are not any Black woman’s cheerleader; councilor; therapist; punching bag, emotional or otherwise; babysitter; ATM; “Mr. Fixit”; bodyguard; attack or comfort dog; minion; henchman; or mentor to her (especially male) kids.

You were not put on this earth to be any Black woman’s “Plan B”, “Cleanup Man” or “Beta Bucks”. You have no control as to how Black women may see you; but you DO have 100% control as to how you respond. As our greatest POTUS, Abraham Lincoln once famously said: “Better to be alone, than to keep bad company”.”

Lest anyone gets the above quote twisted and because of the seriousness of the overall topic, please allow me to followup on the matter with point number six:

“6. You Are Responsible ONLY For Yourself: Following up on the previous point, it is very fashionable by both Black women AND many Black men, to “collectivize” Black men – it happens all of the time and this is especially true when “trouble” comes (It is quite telling to observe that this “collectivization” ONLY applies to Black men; Black women utterly reject this method being applied to them!). Notice that the great things Black men do are minimized or isolated to individuals or small groups, while the bad things Black men do are applied to the global collective of Black men. In a dating and mating context, MANY Black women use this tactic ALL THE TIME in order to guilt/shame Non-Select Guys into doing “All the things” the Select Fuckboys can’t or won’t do – DO NOT GO FOR IT. You are ONLY responsible for what YOU do – NOT what “previous cats” do. This includes Select Fuckboys’ kids. It’s simply not your responsibility, duty or job. The truth is that Black women have been greatly assisted by what can only rightly be called a Marxist reeducation camp type Psy-Ops level brainwashing on Non-Select Guys, that they are to be the collective cleanup men, both for “da communitah” and for Black women who are left in the Select Fuckboys’ of Black America’s wake. SAY NO. If YOU didn’t do it, if YOU didn’t cause it, if it is truly NOT your fault, KEEP IT MOVING.”

Now, while incels and (Black female) sex abuse survivors weren’t the topics of my “commandments” per se, I think it’s safe to say that the reader will understand the point I am attempting to make: Black women must sort out their shit, the same as incels. To attempt to suggest otherwise, is to engage in the very same sexist culture that got us here in the first place.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, ladies – and the Black female survivors of sex abuse, must also learn to be brave, stand on their own two feet and dance with the others.

See you out on the dancefloor!

Now adjourn your asses…


Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, newly minted dating coach and soon to be book author. You can catch his daily live shows on Mixlr, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.